Daily Classroom Word Work and Centers

Daily Word Wall Centers and Activities

As a first grade teacher I know how important it is for my Firsties to get their daily word wall on! I also know that it is critical to make this time of the day enjoyable for them and me :)! I seriously love word walls and everything that has to do with them.  I have learned so much from all the teachers I have worked with and that is how this little routine came to be.

I recently added my activities to my TPT shop in my Wild Word Wall Activity pack.   The activities that I have included in my pack on TPT can be used in a variety of ways.  You can use them in whole group, small group, one on one, centers, the possibilities are endless.  In today’s post I am going to give a run down of how I use them in my class.  Feel free to leave a comment about how you use it in your room!

Check it out!

Check it out!

The Beginning of the Year

The word wall in my classroom starts out with nothing on it.  I believe it is important that the classroom word wall is living (continuously growing and changing).  At open house I have the nervous little sweeties write their name on a sentence strip  and then on the first day we add everyone’s name to the vocabulary section of our word wall (underneath the headers).  It is a great getting to know you activity and a great first addition to the word wall.

*Of course I don’t have a picture of my word wall.  I promise once it gets going in my classroom I will get it up here!

{Oh by the way sentence strips are seriously one of my favorite teacher products.  I use them every week, all year for numerous purposes.  They are so easy to use and can be used for any and everything! Ok, ok I will keep going with the post.}

From then on 5 sight words are added every week.  The sight words that are added go above the alphabet headers and stay up all year.  Underneath the word wall headers are seasonal, curricular vocabulary words.  These vocabulary words can be added, taken down, and changed throughout the year.

Whole Group Word Wall Activities

Every student has a word wall folder and each week they get a new word wall sheet (see below).  The students use this one sheet all week for all the whole group activities.

Weekly word wall practice and games.

Weekly word wall practice and games.

Weekly word wall practice and games.

Weekly word wall practice and games.

Monday: Word Introduction

Of course this is first day of the school week and it is the day the students are introduced to their new weekly words.  As I said before 5 works well for the Firsties but it could totally be adapted to fit your grade level needs.

We practice the word introduction for a couple of weeks with me leading it.  Then after a few weeks the Firsties take charge.  In our classroom we use a document camera and I put one of the words up (written on different colored sentence strips).  Then we use “magical” pointers to point to the letters as the students spell the word using the chants and cheers from the pack! This routine repeats at the beginning of every word wall.

Here is the picture version of the chants and cheers. There are 30 chants and cheers included in the pack.

Here is the picture version of the chants and cheers. There are 30 chants and cheers included in the pack.

The written version of the chants and cheers.

The written version of the chants and cheers.

{The chants and cheers can be laminated and then put on popsicle sticks or just put into a basket for the students to choose.}

Tuesday: Word Practice and Rhyme Time

Tuesday begins by following the same routine as Monday.  Students practice each word with a the different chants and cheers.  After each word is practiced (we usually do about 3 chants per word) move onto the game Rhyme Time (this game is labeled on the word wall sheet).  To play the game give students one of the weekly words and then ask them to spell a word with the same letter pattern.  Students write the word in the Rhyme Time column of the sheet.

Example: “You know the word cat, spell the word hat.”

Wednesday: Word Practice and Secret Sentence

Begin Wednesday with the same word introduction of clapping/chanting/cheering the words for a warm up.  Then play the game Secret Sentence.

This game will help students practice their “skip, read on, go back reading strategy.”  It will also help students practice finding meaning.

 To play this game come up with a sentence that uses one of the weekly word wall words you are introducing.  Then write it on a white board, sentence strip, etc.  Make sure to leave that word out of the sentence {believe me I have written sentences and left the word in}.

Have a student read the sentence saying “blank” where there is a blank.  Then the class makes their guess on their weekly sheet.  Finally ask a student to share their guess to see if it makes sense.  Repeat the game up to 5 times.

Thursday: Word Practice and Hot Seat

Practice the words as you have been throughout the week.  Then begin Hot Seat.

This is a student favorite! The students will seriously beg to play this game everyday.   Start by selecting 2 students: One to sit in the “hot seat” (your teacher chair) and one to be the picker.  The student in the hot seat will need to have their back to the word wall.  The picker needs to pick one of the word wall words for the hot seat to guess.   At the beginning of the year I write the 5 clues on sentence strips to hold up for the students to read.

Clue #1: It is on the word wall. (I know… not very helpful) 

Clue #2: It has ____ letters in it. 

Clue #3: It has the vowel(s) ___ in it. 

Clue #4: It begins with the letter ___.  

Clue #5: It rhymes with ____. 

*The hot seat student makes a guess between each clue.  If the student guesses the word the whole class says, “Oh yeah, but can you spell it” (the kids know that this is the only time we can speak in a sassy way to each other) Then they try to spell it and the class helps if necessary.

Friday: Word Check and Mind Reader

On Fridays we have a little word check, which is a nice way of saying spelling test.  I do this to hold the Firsties accountable.  Then after the word check we play one final word wall game for the week.This game uses the same clues as Hot Seat but for this game they are trying to read the word that is in the teacher’s mind. The teacher picks a word from the word wall and gives the clues while the students are writing their guesses on their weekly sheet.  At the end you can see which student guessed the word the quickest.
Whew! It seems like a lot but seriously as you practice it goes super quick and the Firsties love it.  Now on to the centers.
 I have included 6 centers that can be used in your word work center.  The best thing about these centers is that the games stay the same all year (which means they are super familiar to your students) and the words do the changing.
This version is for your younger learners.

This version is for your younger learners.

Another version of Rip It and Flip It.

Another version of Rip It and Flip It.

Monster Mash is a fun game that will help with sight word practice.

Monster Mash is a fun game that will help with sight word practice.

Students will get practice writing their words and working on their vowel sounds.

Students will get practice writing their words and working on their vowel sounds.

A math and literacy center. The letter and coin key can be laminated and reused.

A math and literacy center. The letter and coin key can be laminated and reused.

Number sentences and words! Oh Yeah!

Number sentences and words! Oh Yeah!

Get your sweeties practicing the math and literacy!

Get your sweeties practicing the math and literacy!

A Few Other Things That Have Been Going On….

I am still working at summer school and seriously I am freezing the entire time I am there.  That is why I need to wear long sleeves and long skirts.

Casual in coral for summer school.

Casual in coral for summer school.

It has been beautiful and hot here in the midwest.  Baby Blue and I are enjoying every moment until Mr. Blue Eyes comes to get us and take us down South.

It was a beautiful Wisconsin day and Baby Blue and I went for a ride.

It was a beautiful Wisconsin day and Baby Blue and I went for a ride.

As I have been packing and cleaning out our place I have been finding some strange stuff but also some really cute stuff.  I found this high school picture of Mr. Blue Eyes! Seriously what a little stud muffin.  :)

A trip down memory lane with Mr. Blue Eyes. :)

A trip down memory lane with Mr. Blue Eyes. :)

Have a great Friday.

~C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celia

About Celia

I am a blue eyed gal living with my blue eyed hubby and our blue eyed Weimaraner in Wisconsin. Teaching is my day job and I just love it! There is nothing that I would rather be doing for my profession. In my free time I love designing and crafting our little apartment. I also have a love of all things water like swimming and boating. Take a minute or two to get to know my blue eyed family.

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